I thought that there was a serious dearth of bread recipes on divinetaste and that's why I'm here today to share with you the recipe for a loaf of bread, which also happens to be one of the most requested recipes in my recipe request folder. I must confess though that I'm partial to Indian unleavened flat breads which also happens to be more suitable to my Ayurvedic style of cooking.
But one can't deny the satisfaction and comfort that a loaf of bread brings and with both my men my husband and my son being bread lovers, I wouldnt want to escape baking bread. I wanted a simple whole wheat bread with simple ingredients and particularly without honey as according to Ayurveda when honey is heated or cooked it produces toxins in the body and so as a rule I never bake or cook with it, only using it in its raw form or mixing it into ingredients at room temperature.
Baking is therapeutic to many but baking bread at home gives a certain degree of salubrity to one's being. And that's precisely what I felt when I saw my bread rise!
Since this is a 100% whole wheat bread it is dense yet soft and has that artisanal bread feel. You can't expect this to be like your regular supermarket loaf and if you are looking for something like that then I would suggest you to replace the whole wheat flour with plain flour.
Copious volumes and compendiums have been written about the simple art of baking bread, which much like pie making makes it look like a daunting task. After going through volumes of such masterpieces, I have come to realize that as far as you are aware of a few simple rules you are good to go and you can turn out a satisfying loaf of bread, one after another!
- The right variety and good quality flour needs to be used.
- Use the right amount of yeast. A little more and your bread will have that yeasty smell and a little less and your bread wont rise at all.
- The dough needs to be kneaded well, until smooth and elastic for the proper texture of the bread.
- The dough needs to rest and double in size before baking. This happens twice depending on the recipe.
- The dough needs to be covered well, preferably with a damp cloth during the second rise to prevent a skin forming over it.
- The oven needs to be pre heated and hot before you put in your prized possession in it.
One person who wanted this recipe was my sister whose birthday it was yesterday. I made this lovely focaccia bread for her last year but unfortunately we could not be together this year. This post also happens to be a gift to my lovely sister who motivates and inspires me and brings so much positive energy in my life!
Whole Wheat Bread Recipe
I have shaped this dough into a loaf but you could also shape them into rolls. For a lighter texture use 50% whole wheat flour and 50% plain flour.
375 ml (1 1/2 cups) lukewarm water
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp instant yeast (or 1 1/2 tsp active dry or 3 tsp fresh yeast)
420 gm ( 3 cups) whole wheat flour
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp ghee, butter or vegetable oil of your choice
sesame seeds for sprinkling (optional)
Place the lukewarm water in a bowl and stir in the brown sugar. Sprinkle the yeast over it and leave the bowl undisturbed for about 10 minutes until frothy.
In a stand mixer or food processor or a bowl if kneading the bread by hand, combine the flour and salt. (If using a stand mixer use the paddle attachment.)
Pour in the fat of your choice and the yeast mixture and knead for about 8 to 10 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic. Depending on the quality of the flour you might have to use a few spoons of extra water to get a smooth and soft dough. (If using a stand mixer use the dough hook for kneading). If you are kneading the dough by hand then use the heel of your palm and knead the dough on a clean counter top or any flat surface.
Place the rolled dough in an oiled mixing bowl and coat the dough with oil. Allow to rise in a warm spot for 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until double in size.
After the dough has risen, punch it down using your fist and knead it lightly for a couple of minutes.
Shape the dough into a loaf (or rolls) and place the loaf in an oiled loaf tin. Cover it with a clean wet napkin or a plate and allow to rise again for about 30 to 45 minutes or until doubled in size.
Pre heat the oven to 200C/390F.
When the dough rises brush it with milk, sprinkle with the optional sesame seeds, place in a hot oven and cook for about 30 minutes or until golden brown on the top. The bread should sound hollow when tapped.
Allow the bread to rest in the tin for about 10 minutesbefore inverting it into a cooling rack to cool.
Cut into slices when the bread is cool and use it plain, toasted or grilled.
Makes one loaf
Shaping Bread Dough Into A Loaf
1. After the dough has risen, punch the dough with your fist and gather it into a round ball, briefly kneading it. Then shape the dough into a rectangle, approximately the size of the bread tin you are using.
2. Fold the rectangle half way through and tuck the part where it joins inside the seams with the heel of your palm.
3. Now turn the horizontally placed dough into a vertical position or at an angle of 90 degrees.
4. Roll the dough starting from the top and proceed downwards, all the while tucking the dough inside the seams.
5.Flatten the edges and place the shaped dough inside an oiled tin.
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